Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A dose of Truth

In regards to the tension between Christian ministry and the pursuit of wealth/status (the American Dream), Ryan Voight recently said during a sermon, "You shouldn't set out to do good and expect to end up doing well."

I have some things to think about.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Two weeks ago my cousin and life-long friend Stacey came to visit me in Kauai! She was only here for 5 days, but we packed in a lot of sightseeing. Our original plan was to skydive and get tattoos... but a week before her visit, she and her husband found out that they're expecting! (Which is way more exciting than skydiving.) So we stayed away from freefalls and ink needles. Here's a rundown of our first three days:

Thursday August 18: 

I picked Stacey up from the airport in the evening, and we got dinner in Kapa'a at Olympic CafĂ©. We came home and both went to sleep around 8:30. She had been up since the wee hours of the morning (EST), and I was just tired for no good reason. Around 1:00 am I was wide awake with that sticky throat feeling and went to the kitchen to get a drink, and on my way back to my bedroom I stopped in my office to grab some papers I needed in the morning. But... cane spider. Right in the middle of the floor. So I shut my office door and shoved a towel under it to trap the spider in there overnight so my boss could kill it in the morning. I also put a towel under my bedroom door for added protection. Oddly, I fell right asleep after that.

Friday August 19: 

No sign of the spider; it escaped my office overnight. I worked until 11, then Stacey and I went snorkeling at Tunnels Beach on the north shore. It rained a tiny bit once we got there so we stood under the bathrooms and chatted with a local who let us touch the suckers of his freshly-speared and still-living octopus. We snorkeled for about an hour, and even though it was somewhat cloudy we saw oodles of colorful fish and reef and rocks and cliffs. No honu (sea turtles), but still breathtaking!

We ate lunch at a food stand that sold cold, juicy fresh fruit, walked through a dry cave across the road, and stopped in Hanalei to window shop. We c ame home and showered, I worked for an hour while Stacey napped, and then we went back to Hanalei for a beach barbecue. (My church has a weekly outreach beach ministry there on Friday nights. Swimming, food, bonfire, fun.) Stacey got to meet a few of my friends, which was nice.

And that was Friday. By the end of the day, Stacey’s back was fried. Luckily, that was her only malady during the trip -- no jet-lag, morning sickness, nothing. She's a trooper. 

Here's a picture Stacey took at Tunnels:

Saturday August 20th: 

Saturday was a busy day. I worked until 11 again, then we stopped at a couple dinky farmers markets and didn't really find much (apple bananas and starfruit were our breakfast.) We headed down to the south shore for the day and stopped in historic Hanapepe for lunch at a grungy diner, which we HOPED would be one of those rare hole-in-the-wall restaurants that looks disgusting but produces heavenly food.  Fail. The food was pretty gross. So we stopped at gas station for a candy fix and headed west to Waimea Canyon, where we had a tourist take our picture:

After the canyon, we drove up north to the pier in Hanalei to watch the sunset, then we grabbed some dinner at foodland, came home, and crashed. I had my iPhone with me and just managed to catch a few pictures of the sunset before it began to pour. I love the boats in the second one. The last picture is a gorgeous shot that Stacey took of the pier after the rain.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Writing is like, so totally zen.

I've decided to start blogging daily. Not every day will bring mammoth amounts of words or depth -- some days I may only post a picture -- but I've come to realize that much, much too much of my life is slipping through my fingers because of my mental carelessness. In failing to record my life, I'm essentially discarding parts of it. And it's not only the forgetting of events that I'm concerned about, but the forgetting of thoughts and growth and feelings.

For some reason, when I'm not writing (be it any sort of writing: journaling, blogging, fiction, poetry, etc) my life makes no sense to me. Everything gets all jumbled and disorganized, and I have trouble pinpointing what I'm learning, who I've become, or what is Truth. My mind gets lethargic when I don't write. My vocabulary dwindles. I get twitchy.

Blogging is a discipline that keeps me writing, and that is my main motivation for doing it. That's right, "to keep everyone informed of my life" is no longer the motivation or the purpose statement of this blog. In fact, I don't really like to keep people informed. My life is my own. I very often feel invaded when I blog and would sometimes rather pretend that nobody anywhere reads what I write.

Other times I feel disgruntled when no one comments and I sulk because I don't have many followers.

Ah, self-contradiction.

So yes, I'm going to blog daily, even if it's just a sentence or two. I may switch platforms from Blogger to Wordpress at some point in the future, but I'll let you all know of the change in url address if that happens. Soon (tomorrow?) I'll share some pictures and stories from my cousin Stacey's visit last week.

For today, here are a couple of pictures from the Kauai County Fair this weekend. I intended to take lots of pictures, but I left my Nikon in the car since it was raining when we got there. I did snap a couple pics with my iPhone in the agriculture tent of the Bonsai trees and orchids (...and a baby on a swing.)

I've put "grow a Bonsai tree" on my bucket list. It may seem like a strange or mundane goal, but there is something mystical and hypnotic about them. This picture is of a Bonsai tree wrapped around some sort of stone that looks like black lava rock. The photo hardly does the display justice (couldn't get a good angle; some green-thumb old ladies were obstructing my view by ooo-ing and ahhh-ing over it), but it looked like a landscape from Middle Earth or some fantasy tale. I see all sorts of owls and squirrels and hobbits and woodland creatures scampering through the crevices of rock and tree. I would love to have something like this in my living room someday. Something about it is so zen.

I like zen lately. I need zen lately.
Perhaps I'll purchase a zen garden...